This interesting and unusual name is of Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Sefton' near Liverpool in Lancashire. The place is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Sextone', as 'Sefftun' in the Cockersand Cartulary of 1222, and as 'Ceffton' in the Lancashire Close Rolls of 1236. The name means 'the settlement where rushes grew', derived from the Old Norse 'sef', rush, with the Old English pre 7th Century 'tun', settlement, enclosure. Locational surnames were acquired in most cases by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Sefton and Sephton. The marriage of John Sephton and Jane Manne was recorded at Leigh, in Lancashire, on May 2nd 1613. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of George Sefton (marriage to Emlin Barton), which was dated November 27th 1566, Ormskirk, Lancashire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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